Shawn O'Brien, CFA
Shawn leads the U.S. Retirement research practice, which focuses on the defined contribution (DC) and individual retirement account (IRA) markets. He also leads and supports strategic consulting projects for asset managers on their DC-related market entry and product distribution strategies.
Prior to joining Cerulli Associates, Shawn worked as a Research Associate at Harvard Business School, where he co-authored case studies on investment management for professional and personal investors and managing and innovating in financial services. Prior to that, he worked in the Currency Management group at State Street Global Markets, employing currency overlay strategies for large asset managers and asset owners.
- Boston College
Master of Science in Applied Economics
- Merrimack College
Bachelor of Science in Finance
- CFA® charterholder
Honors and Awards
- Quoted in the Financial Times, Barron’s, Pensions & Investments, FundFire, and other industry leading publications as a subject matter expert on the U.S. retirement market
Areas of Expertise
- Asset management and recordkeeping landscape within the U.S. retirement markets
- DC-focused product development and distribution strategies
- Advice and product innovation trends in the DC market
- Trends in DC participant decision-making and behavior
Recent Project Work
- Due diligence project for private equity firm considering acquisition of retirement plan provider
- Lead consultant advising asset manager on DCIO product development and distribution strategy
- Lead author of Cerulli’s U.S. Defined Contribution Distribution report, U.S. Retirement Markets report, and U.S. Retirement End-Investor report
Learn More about the Retirement Practice
Cerull's U.S. Retirement practice captures evolving dynamics of the market across plan providers, plan sponsors, plan participants, and intermediaries.